The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence exists to apply an integrated, holistic approach to manuscripts and texts in other forms through the ages. Our work began on medieval Western European manuscripts and early modern printed books in specific collections, but, over the years, our research work has expanded to embrace a wider body of written (and other) sources, from the Antique world to the present.
Manuscripts and Other Evidence
The Research Group considers these and many related materials simultaneously as carriers of text, archaeological artefacts, works of art, layers of history, and monuments of culture. The Group seeks to examine, record, and analyze the evidence of these witnesses of history, life, thought, art, and culture, and to set their testimony in context. It also works to educate others in its methods and its results. It offers a concerted, informed response to the complex challenges of preserving, transmitting, and understanding the legacy of the past. By such means we seek better to understand the present and to help prepare for the future, above all a future worth having.
Our approach is inclusive rather than exclusive. We welcome scholars, both established and developing, as well as independent scholars, experts, students, and amateurs in many areas of interest in the academic and wider worlds. This company is manifested in our Officers, Associates & Volunteers and in our welcome for newcomers.
Our interests embrace many materials and fields of study, ranging from book culture, book history, library history, art history, palaeography, textual transmission, and linguistics, to archival studies, conservation, archaeology, and forensics. Although our individual experiences and forms of expertise perforce differ (for example through the pre-determined conditions of birth order), we believe that we all might be equal in the quest for truth, and so we might all, hopefully, benefit from fostering constructive discourse and feedback across disciplines, regions, and generations, with the aim of strengthening and refining knowledge overall.
Welcome to Our Website
We invite you to join our activities, subscribe or donate to our Bulletin ShelfLife, and become a Sponsor or Donor of our work and mission. Contributions and Donations — both in funds and in kind — enable our activities to continue. The Research Group is a recognized Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization in the form of a corporation, devoted to lectures, discussions, and other forms of publications. Donations to its mission may thus be tax-deductible. Importantly, the Group continues its activities only through voluntary contributions, by which no Officer receives a salary. This principle and practice means that your donations in funds and in kind directly sustain the activities for which our organization is
In 2014 the Group celebrated its 15th anniversary as a nonprofit educational corporation based in Princeton, New Jersey, and its 25th as an international scholarly organization founded in the United Kingdom as part of a collaborative research project on Anglo-Saxon and related manuscripts and their context. We celebrated in style, as we happily record.
Over the years, the interests and activities of the Group have expanded to address many forms of manuscript and other evidence across the centuries. Our activities and this website illustrate these interests.
Please explore the items on our Menu to learn about our history, origins, and aims; our officers, organization, associates, and volunteers; and our activities, which include meetings, photographic exhibitions, research projects, and publications. Our meetings take the form of lectures, master classes, symposia, colloquia, seminars, workshops, and conference activities. Our conference sessions, both sponsored and co-sponsored, usually occur at the Annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Our Publications include this website, catalogues, books, booklets, posters, and other materials. Among them are:
- Posters for our scholarly activities, now exhibited in a Gallery on this site to show the evolution of their designs
- our illustrated Bulletin ShelfLife: A Meeting Place for Scholars, Collectors & Connoisseurs of Manuscripts, Books & the Written Word
- our illustrated RGME-newsletter ShelfMarks
- and our Style Manifesto (recently updated).
The largest co-publication so far is the Illustrated Catalogue of Insular, Anglo-Saxon, and Early Anglo-Norman Manuscript Art at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1997) in 2 volumes.
Our blogposts here not only record the scholarly activities and other events, including the conference sessions, receptions, and other celebrations, but also publish illustrated reports of discoveries regarding manuscript and related materials, as here and here.
Our copyright high-quality digital font, Bembino, is suitable for multiple languages: so far English and most Western European languages based on the Latin alphabet, as well as Greek (both modern and polytonic), the Russian subset of the Cyrillic languages, Hebrew, Egyptian Arabic, and the International Phoenetic Alphabet. The font also includes the diacritics for the transcribed Ethiopic Ge’ez. The newest Version (1.3) has astrological and astronomical symbols and celestial diagrams, as well as some glyphs for Japanese. You can see the font in action on this very website and download it FOR FREE here: Bembino.
We invite you to explore the Links of Interest for selected sites devoted to manuscripts, rare books, maps, and other materials transmitting the written word in a variety of periods, languages, and cultures. The lists focus on websites which illustrate many examples of the wealth of such materials, now dispersed and preserved in vary many collections, both private and public, around the world.
The posts and pages on our site document and illustrate our history, activities, aims, and celebrations. Welcome!
[First published on our first website on 19 April 2006, with updates there and here]
NOTE: Our former Drupal site, online since 2006, remains available as an archive (http://manuscriptevidence.org/data/). Its contents have been transferred here, with updates as appropriate. During the transition (2014–), this new WordPress site has been available as www.manuscriptevidence.org/wpme/, but now (as of May 2015) it has become our official site (manuscriptevidence.org), for which redirects from the older urls should function.
Please let us know your suggestions, corrections, and improvements.